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MAIL

Reported by Petros Yiotis (kontra)

 2/12/2005

1st hearing

On the first day of the appeal the court of five judges that is held in the maximum security specially prepared courtroom in the Koridalos prison addressed two serious matters.

The first matter is whether Savvas Xiros, who did not appeal the first judgement within the time limits, should be allowed to attend the court anyway on the grounds that he is pulled by his co-defendants. Savvas Xiros, who was absent from the court, was represented by his lawyer Yorgos Gountounas who demanded that his client be given the possibility of participating substantially in the trial and that the court address his serious health problems that hinder him from being able to participate, since he can neither hear or see.

The court decided that the Savvas Xiros can participate in the trial, benefited < from the appeals of his co-defendants, but  it rejected his other demands. On Monday Savvas attitude towards this decision will be announced.

The second matter was the keeping of minutes in the form of recordings, as it had happened in the first trial. Since the first trial there has been a law voted in that allows the keeping of recorded minutes and this lead to the advocates of defence and prosecution, making the relative demand. The public prosecutor proposed the demand be rejected, on the grounds that there is no necessary technical infrastructure! It should be noted here that there is a fully functional voice and image recording and transmitting network installed that is currently used to transmit proceedings from the courtroom to the press room. This installation was used to record the first trial. The judge announced that the court would address the matter after it tried to get the ministry of Justice to solve the problem of minutes. The advocates of defence and prosecution also demanded that they should not have to go through extensive security tests twice daily as suspects of carrying weapons and explosives. The court reserved the decision for this the demand.

During one of the breaks of the trial, some defendants made statements to the journalists that are the following:

Dimitris Koufontinas

 As in the previous trial, what is carried out here is a trial of opponents to the establishment. It is clearly a political trial. A trial of political expediency. A trial that is carried out during difficult times, while the system attacks rights and freedoms, but the working world has not yet found answer. A trial that is carried out in an environment of decay, scandals and corruption. When the entire juridical system is undergoing a deep crisis and rendering it entirely unreliable. When the advocates of prosecution are diminishing in numbers with their main representatives involved in the circuits of corruption. In such a political trial, that is carried out in a such an environment, the objective of the establishment is not simply the conviction of certain persons, but the political and ideological wipe-out of ideas, values and visions of the Revolutionary Left. As far as I am concerned, I will not grant them this favour. This trial is a tribune for me, it is a battle against allowing the system to materialise its objectives, to reveal its plans, to publicise the political character of this affair, to not allow History to be rewritten, to show that when resistance exists, hope exists.

Alexandros Yiotopoulos

I was convicted to a heavy sentence, 21 times life sentence, for reasons of political expediency and under the blackmails of foreign agents. My conviction is absurd and ridiculous. Even in this bill of indictment they have had to admit that I did not have any involvement in a total of roughly 90 acts of violence. If this court is rudimentarily just, if it respects the law and the right of evidence it can only come to one decision, my evident, complete acquittal.

Hristodoulos Xiros

I deny all the allegations and I will prove them all faulty if I am given the chance.

Savvas wants to be here, but if he comes as he is, he will only be like a piece of furniture. He first wants his health to be attended to.

Vasilis Giorgatos

Over the past two or three years there has been a mechanism set up by a few individuals who want to keep two defendants in prison.